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UAlbany Student Contracts Mumps, No Longer Infectious

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One University at Albany student has picked up mumps, an infection known for causing severe swelling.
The case was confirmed on Wednesday by the Albany County Health Department. Since then, the student has been isolated from the campus population and is no longer infectious.

In rare cases, those with the infection can become deaf or infertile from swelling.

Mumps is spread through close contact, often through saliva. For this case, it’s uncertain how the student was exposed.

Under state public health law, students taking six or more credits are required to provide proof of immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella before entering college unless provided with a religious exemption.

Without a faith-based appeal, students are required to take at least one dose of live mumps under state law.

Two MMR shots are about 88 percent effective in deterring mumps. Those who take one dose of the vaccine are ten percent more susceptible to the infection. The Center for Disease Control advises that children get two MMR shots (the first dose: 12 to 15 months old; the second dose: four to six years old).

“There are some people who contract mumps who actually have had not only one, but two doses of the vaccine,” said Ed Engelbride, associate vice president of Student Affairs in July.

This is the first confirmed case since last spring, in which eight students within two weeks were stricken with the infection. Students were required to become vaccinated or face temporary ban from campus in April.

Three cases were confirmed during the first week of the outbreak. An outbreak is defined as two or more linked cases of an infectious disease.

Because only one case has been confirmed, the university not will set up a vaccination clinic.

Like last semester, Student Health Services sent out a university-wide email notice alerting students about the case.

The notification was sent out on Friday. Prior to a Sunday interview, Ryan O’Keefe, a freshman business student, wasn’t aware know of the case.

“I guess I should check my email more often,” said O’Keefe.

What are some symptoms of mumps?

Fever, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, swelling, decrease in appetite, malaise, headaches.

How to avoid spreading mumps

  • Routinely wash your hands with soap and water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.                –Disinfect frequently touched surfaces when possible.
  • Cough into your elbow, not your hand. If you use a tissue, throw it out in a trash can.
  • Avoid sharing any items that come in contact with saliva (food, drinks, etc).
  • Get two doses of an MMR vaccine.

 

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Tyler A. McNeil is the current managing editor for the Albany Student Press. The Capital Region native previously served as managing editor for The Hudsonian, and as an intern for the Times Union and Capital Tonight.

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